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West Kelowna RCMP warn public of third luring incident

Third possible child luring

West Kelowna RCMP are warning the public of a third suspicious incident in which a 15-year-old was asked to enter a vehicle.

About 6 p.m. Monday, police received a report that a male youth had been asked by a man driving a van in a parking lot if he wanted to get in.

The incident occurred on the 1700 block of Ross Road.

The teen couldn't hear the man, so he walked closer. When the male asked if he wanted to enter the van, the teen declined and the driver drove off.

This is the third alleged luring incident in West Kelowna in recent days, but it is unclear if the cases are related. The first took place Nov. 27, and the second on Dec. 1.

The driver in the latest incident was driving a newer model, red minivan and is described as Caucasian, in his thirties, with a full beard, but no moustache. He was wearing a black baseball cap.

“RCMP would like to speak with this male in hopes to clarify what events transpired,” says Const. Lesley Smith.

“At this point in the investigation our officers are unable to confirm if this interaction was related to other recent reports and therefore we will continue to assess all evidentiary avenues."

RCMP remind parents and children to be extremely cautious.

Some safety tips to follow when you're alone include:

  • Walk with your head up, be aware of your surroundings and remain alert.
  • Take note of the nearby businesses and people around you.
  • If a person or a situation feels unsafe, avoid it completely.
  • If you are biking, jogging or walking alone avoid isolated areas by planning your route.
  • Change your route and don't be predictable.
  • Always walk near a curb and away from alleys or doorways.
  • Do not carry heavy items such as parcels or large purses, instead try a money belt or pouch.
  • Do not publicly display cash.
  • Keep your personal identification, medical and emergency contact information with you.
  • If you're travelling at night, wear reflective gear.
  • On transit, ask your driver to let you off closer to your final destination.

If you think you're being followed, cross the street, go towards the nearest group of people and call 911.

If a predator confronts you and demands you go with him, run, scream for help and do anything you can think of to draw attention to yourself. If the predator is after your belongings such as a purse, throw them one way and run the opposite way.

If you are assaulted, take note of what the suspect or suspects look like and the direction of their travel.

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